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Virtual Office Receptionist: Who, What and Why they help
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Virtual Office Receptionist: Who, What and Why they help

Remember when an ‘office receptionist’ was someone who sat behind a desk in one location, answering and transferring calls or greeting visitors when they came through the door?

There’s definitely still a place for this, but with more businesses adopting some kind of remote working patterns, or businesses not wanting to rely on a single person to be the face of their customer support, virtual office receptionists have become more popular.

Virtual office receptionist services are a big part of what we do at Face For Business and while we know (and the clients who use us know) the value virtual office receptionists have, we get that it might not be completely clear to everyone.

Which is what we hope to clear up here, by giving you the information you need to decide if a virtual office receptionist could be a good investment for your business.

Starting at the beginning…

What exactly is a virtual office receptionist?

Virtual office receptionists are basically the same as an office receptionist in that they answer phones, transfer calls, take messages etc. The only difference is, they work remotely rather than in the office of the company whose phones they’re answering.

Virtual office receptionists typically work for outsourced phone answering providers or work freelance.

They also bring phone management software and other technology to better help them answer your calls and manage how these calls are handled.

This can include syncing their system to your existing systems (like your CRM) so they can integrate more with your existing sales, marketing and customer service systems.

What are the benefits of using a virtual office receptionist?

You can keep costs under control

The cost savings involved in using a virtual office receptionist can’t be overlooked. If you consider the costs of hiring a full-time (even a part-time) employee it can be very expensive with the base salary along with workplace benefits, tax, sick pay, insurance etc

Plus the office costs of having your receptionist and team in one place.

Virtual office receptionists can help greatly reduce these costs because these outsourced services typically work on a monthly subscription model.

This is how our pricing works and the costs of your call answering are based on the calls we’ll be handling.

Plus, because we optimise bills every month so customers are always on the most appropriate tariff based on the service they’re using, it further helps to keep the costs on a virtual office receptionist under control.

Increased availability

You and your team can’t work around the clock, but your customers’ questions and enquiries don’t start and end between 9-5. Which means if you’re not available outside of these hours that’s potentially customers you’re missing out on.

A virtual office receptionist helps you overcome this by providing an out-hours-call answering service so your business can continue to be available for your customers, long after you and your team have finished.

At Face For Business for example, we operate our call answering service between 8am-8pm Monday-Friday, 9am-5:30pm Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday (so not only are you answering more calls during the week but we can deal with weekend calls while you’re relaxing with friends and family)

Provide a better customer experience

As much as they might try, your team can’t always provide the best customer experience over the phone when it’s not part of their main job.

It takes time and empathy to deal with customer calls, but when the call is ‘getting in the way’ of your team’s main jobs, that customer’s call can be viewed as more of an inconvenience, rather than an opportunity.

Virtual office receptionists can alleviate the issues of your team being taken away from their jobs by providing a more reliable and consistently professional call answering service.

They can take the time to listen to the customer and get the information you need before routing calls to the right person when appropriate, taking a detailed message so you can return the call later, or even using their knowledge of your company (which we collect during the onboarding phase) to answer some frequent questions directly.

Having a virtual office receptionist available to handle calls for you doesn’t just take the stress away from your team, it can improve the customer experience by reducing wait times to get information and ensuring every call is handled promptly and professionally.

Create a more scalable call answering system

Apart from the fixed costs, another issue with hiring staff is that you pay the same costs regardless of how busy the staff member is.

We know from experience of our own customers that the need for a call answering service can fluctuate quite a bit during different times of the year, with many companies having peaks of demand, followed by slower periods.

Investing in a virtual office receptionist allows you to scale your costs in-line with demand so you only pay for what you need.

If you’re going through a quiet period, you can reduce your package. Things start to pick up; just increase the amount of support you need.

This way you can control costs and have resources to spend on other parts of your business, rather than paying staff costs you don’t really need.

Create a more professional image

You may have been through this yourself as a customer.

You’ve called a business and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait for someone to answer the phone before you’re either met with a robotic voicemail message, or a robotic voice asking you to follow a series of numbers on the keypad to get to the person or department you need (assuming you even know exactly who you need to speak with).

Either being made to wait on a call, being put on hold for long periods or being forced to leave a voicemail when you have an urgent situation doesn’t create the most professional image of the company you’re calling.

Using a virtual office receptionist makes sure every call is answered promptly and the caller dealt with professionally by a real person.

Just knowing they’ve spoken to a human and that someone has noted their enquiry can be more reassuring to a customer compared to leaving a voicemail on a machine and wondering when (or if) someone will listen to it.

Customise how your calls are dealt with

We can’t speak for other virtual office receptionist services, but our services can easily be customised to suit how you want calls to be answered and dealt with.

This can be everything from how we greet your customers when we pick up calls, what information you need to gather for messages, and how calls should be transferred.

If you have a front end booking system for customers to confirm appointments, we can also help with that and even arrange for payments to be made over the phone.

To help with this, we provide the call recordings of every call we answer so you can listen to exactly how we’re dealing with your calls.

If you’re ever not happy with something you hear, your lead PA (who is your main point of contact) is always available to make changes to how your account is run.

Could you benefit from a virtual office receptionist?

Don’t be fooled by the name, a virtual office receptionist isn’t just for those with a virtual office.

If you need support answering phones, taking messages and getting callers to the right person quickly, then a virtual office receptionist could be a good fit for you.

The good news is, you can see if this could work with absolutely no obligation to pay anything by taking advantage of our 7-day free trial that we offer to any new customer.

Over the course of a week we’ll onboard you into our call answering system, create a detailed knowledge bank of all the information we need to know about your company and then our virtual office receptionists will get to work answering your phones.

If, after the 7-days, you decide it’s not for you, then you’re free to walk away – no hard feelings.

So what do you have to lose?

Start a 7-day free trial of our virtual office receptionists today.

14th February, 2024

Posted by Face For Business

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